10 predictions for travel in 2022

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Take the Trip

As restriction-free travel to Costa Rica returns, so too do British Airways’ direct Gatwick-San Jose flights, relaunching this month. Those with the time to spare might consider Pura Aventura’s Ultimate Costa Rica: A Month of Wonders, taking travellers ziplining across the rainforest canopy and snorkelling with turtles. The grandchildren will never believe you. From £6,990pp, including 28 nights’ B&B, many lunches and dinners, 4×4 hire, guides, activities and domestic flights, with Pura Aventura (pura-aventura.com)

7. … And going it alone

Solo travel has never been so popular. That might come as a surprise, given all the isolating – but in fact it has prompted us to strike out alone and book the trip we’ve always dreamed of. And it’s not just gap-year younglings. Wild Frontiers founder Jonny Bealby says the bookings they’re receiving are largely from solo travellers in the 45 to 50-plus age bracket, and mostly female. Partners, parents, mothers especially, are taking time out for themselves, whether on wellness retreats, learning breaks such as surfing, or more intrepid adventures.

“Often it’s not that they’re single – it’s that they want to go to say, Peru, but their partner doesn’t want to,” says James Treacy of Cox & Kings, almost half of whose recent bookings are solo travellers. “So rather than go completely solo, they join a group tour with other likeminded people.”

Others are positively embracing solitude. “This is about escaping the grind. Setting challenges and pushing your comfort zone,” says Tom Marchant, founder of Black Tomato, who arranged for one lone adventurer to travel alone to Mongolia, helping nomadic herders to move their winter camp, hunting with eagles and horseback riding across the mountains.

Take the Trip

Cox & Kings’ small-group big-hitting solo tour Treasures of Peru costs from £2,695pp for nine nights, including flights; coxandkings.co.uk. Black Tomato’s boundary-pushing Become a True Explorer in Mongolia expedition costs £6,900 for nine nights (blacktomato.com)

8. Unique, c’est chic

A home from home just doesn’t cut it in 2022. We have all had quite enough of our homes, frankly – on holiday we want special, one-off, out-of-this-world extraordinary. We want to sleep in gypsy caravans and floating cabins and party mansions with underground karaoke rooms. In a UK holiday rental market that’s gone bananas – bookings soaring by 400 per cent – it’s the quirky stuff that’s getting snapped up fastest.

“Travellers are looking for unique stays,” says Airbnb’s Europe GM Amanda Cupples, which reports that the number of searches for “unique homes” on Airbnb has grown 94 per cent compared with 2019. Its Most-Wishlisted Top 20 for British holidaymakers includes a converted 1940s boat, a former airship, two treehouses and, in top spot, a luxury “pigsty” outside Winchester. Canopy & Stars’ most popular properties for 2022 are the Bowcombe Boathouse in Devon and the Sky Den in Northumberland’s Kielder Forest. Not to be outdone, hotels are creating their own offbeat, standalone boltholes; in 2022, if you want to get ahead, get a treehouse.

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